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Work-in-Progress: Graduate Student Perspectives on Using Tablet PCs and Associated Technologies

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Computers in Education Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1490.1 - 25.1490.17



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Paper Authors

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Aurelio Lopez-Malo is professor and Past Chair, Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, in Mexico. He teaches food science and engineering related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, natural antimicrobials, and active learning

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Enrique Palou Universidad de las Americas, Puebla

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Enrique Palou is Director, Center for Science, Engineering, and Technology Education in the Department of Chemical, Food, and Environmental Engineering at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, in Mexico. He teaches engineering, food science, and education-related courses. His research interests include emerging technologies for food processing, creating effective learning environments, using tablet PCs and associated technologies to enhance the development of 21st century expertise in engineering students, and building rigorous research capacity in science, engineering, and technology education.

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Graduate Student Perspectives on Using Tablet PCs and Associated TechnologiesThe How People Learn framework [1, 2] was used to redesign the course Advanced FoodChemistry (IA-530). Our goal was to improve graduate food chemistry teaching and learning bycreating high-quality learning environments that promote an interactive classroom whileintegrating formative assessments into classroom practices by means of Tablet PCs andassociated technologies [3]. We mainly utilized two Tablet PC associated technologies,InkSurvey [4] and Classroom Presenter [5], to gauge student learning in real time, provideimmediate feedback, and make real-time pedagogical adjustments as needed [6]. The redesign ofIA-530 significantly (p<0.05) increased student participation and formative assessments.Instructors utilized the information gained through real-time formative assessment to tailorinstruction to meet student needs. Particularly important were opportunities to make students’thinking visible and give them chances to revise, as well as opportunities for “what if” thinking.Attempts to help students reflect on their own processes as learners were also emphasized [6].In order to examine how students perceived the use of Tablet PCs and associated technologies,we conducted semi-structured interviews (lasting on average 20 min each) with IA-530 graduatestudents (four men and eight women) that had completed the course. These students wereselected from a pool of potential participants using maximum variation, trying to choose them inorder to represent IA-530 demographics. Of the selected and invited students, none refused toparticipate. Audio recordings were transcribed and then analyzed. We developed codesinductively through the data and based on relevant literature.The qualitative analysis indicated a number of themes that consistently appeared within theinterview sessions and were addressed by students from different viewpoints. Five overallthemes emerged: student participation in class by means of Tablet PCs, impact on learning,potential of Tablet PCs and associated technologies, formative assessments, as well asadvantages and disadvantages of using the Tablet PC in IA-530 classroom.Our findings demonstrated that graduate students think that using Tablet PCs and associatedtechnologies: increased their motivation to participate in class as well as their scores in gradedwork-products; made the classroom more active and them constantly thinking, thus learning withunderstanding increased; that the university should implement it into other classes; the teacherprovided a great deal of real-time feedback to students that made their thinking visible and gavethem chances to revise. Among the disadvantages, students think that teachers should be advisedthe chance students have of being able to check their e-mail and social networks while using theTablet PCs.The full paper will further report upon the themes identified in the analysis and compare theresults from the semi-structured interviews with those obtained from the quantitative study andpreviously reported [6].[1] J. D. Bransford, A. L. Brown, and R. R. Cocking. How People Learn. Brain, Mind, Experience and School. Expanded Edition. National Academy Press. Washington DC (2000).[2] J. D. Bransford, N. Vye, and H. Bateman. Creating High-Quality Learning Environments: Guidelines from Research on How People Learn. In: The Knowledge Economy and Postsecondary Education: Report of a Workshop. P. Albjerg Graham and N. G. Stacey (Eds.). National Academy Press. Washington DC (2002).[3] XXX [for blind review purposes] (2011).[4] F. Kowalski, S. Kowalski, and E. Hoover. Using InkSurvey: A Free Web-Based Tool for Open-Ended Questioning to Promote Active Learning and Real-Time Formative Assessment of Tablet PC-Equipped Engineering Students. Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference. Honolulu, HI (2007).[5] R. Anderson, R. Anderson, L. McDowell, and B. Simon. Use of Classroom Presenter in Engineering Courses. Proceedings of the 35th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference. Indianapolis, IN (2005).[6] YYY [for blind review purposes] (2011).

GUTIERREZ, J. V., & Lopez-Malo, A., & Palou, E. (2012, June), Work-in-Progress: Graduate Student Perspectives on Using Tablet PCs and Associated Technologies Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22247

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